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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


David J. Skorton

David J. Skorton served as Cornell's twelfth president from 2006 to 2015 and recently assumed a federal appointment as Secretary of the Smithsonian. A seasoned administrator, board-certified cardiologist, biomedical researcher, musician, and advocate for the arts and humanities, David was a beloved figure on the Cornell campus.

During his nine-year tenure at Cornell, David held faculty appointments as professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering in Ithaca. Among his accomplishments as Cornell's president was the development of Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

David came to Cornell from the University of Iowa, where he served as president for three years and as a faculty member for twenty-six.

David earned his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1970 and an MD in 1974, both from Northwestern University. He completed his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Becoming a part of the Smithsonian is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead an institution that is at the heart of the country’s cultural, artistic, historical, and scientific life,” said David. “I look forward with great enthusiasm to partnering with the excellent staff and volunteers and engaging with the Regents, Congress, and the Smithsonian’s many friends, supporters, and affiliates to further extend our reach. I am eager to work with the leaders of Washington’s art, science, and cultural centers to emphasize the critical importance of these disciplines.”